A cruise gives its passengers all the luxury of a top hotel with the added bonus of an ever changing horizon. For many, a cruise is the very pinnacle of holiday experiences, and it's not difficult to see why. Passengers aboard cruises are surrounded by entertainment, high quality restaurants, swimming pools, spas, and relaxation. This experience is completed by the chance to undertake shore excursions. As an owner or operator of shore excursions, you need to understand why passengers choose excursions and how to become the company that every cruise line or resort recommends.
Why do cruise passengers sign up for a shore excursion?
It is an opportunity to leave the ship and experience some of the life and culture of the many places they visit during the course of their cruise. It involves taking part in a specific activity or tour and is always run by a professional tour operator such as yourselves. Taking part in a shore excursion means that the passengers get the best out of their time on shore and get to experience a wide range of exciting activities. Popular activities include:
Experiencing the underwater world by Snorkeling in Bermuda
Seeing the world from the tree tops by zip lining through the canopy of the Sierra Madre
Why should passengers choose a tour operator over organizing activities themselves?
It is possible for passengers to go ashore at any destination on their cruise and take off exploring on their own. However, there are risks associated with doing this:
They are only in the area for a short time and could miss out on activities or local tours
If they are unfamiliar with the area they risk getting lost
Unless they speak the local language passengers could find it difficult to arrange anything
There is always the risk of any activity or tour being unsafe or of them paying for something they don't get
Any travel involves a level of risk of injury, accident or theft
Passengers could miss the ships departure time
Your company needs to be able to prove to passengers that by using your services they minimize these and other associated risks. You need to be the safer and most cost effective alternative. You also need to be able to provide high levels of customer service that encourages passengers and cruise operators to recommend you to future passengers.
How to get cruise liners to recommend you?
Cruise line operators have a vested interest in keeping their passengers safe. To increase your chances of being recommended by a cruise operator, you need to be able to prove that you share this interest.
Cruise operators carefully vet any shore excursion operators who request recommendations. This process ensures that guests are receiving the experience that they are paying for. It also makes sure that the experience is as safe as can be expected. There are of course risks associated with any activity, but these risks are minimized when equipment is regularly checked and properly maintained, and staff are well trained and knowledgeable. The cruise operators will also check that you have relevant and up to date insurance.
Why is insurance important?
As has already been stated there are risks involved in every activity. However, should something go wrong, passengers need to know that they will be taken care of properly. If they were to suffer an injury from a faulty zip line harness, the responsibility would lay with you as the excursion company. Your insurance will need to cover any damage, medical bills and, if necessary, the cost of returning the passenger to their home port. The insurance package must also be provided by a reputable insurer with at least an A.M. Best “A” rating and the program must provide World Wide Jurisdiction to further protect the passengers.
If your tour or shore excursion is in need of excursion insurance, click here to a get started on a quote.